NYSTAR and Upstate Capital present Invest NY: Future of Food, an event highlighting the food and agtech industry and innovation in Upstate New York. This event brings together members from established food and beverage companies, suppliers, investors, and dealmakers together with entrepreneurs and startups.
The event will be held online and in-person on June 29, 2022, at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.
What to expect at Future of Food 2022:
- Startup pitches for new products, services and companies
- Conversations with business owners and CEOs building food & agtech businesses
- Discussions with industry experts and investors in food, beverage, and agtech
CEO Roundtable (invitation-only) Details will be shared separately with invited guests
Registration & Networking
Networking & The CIA Experience
The CIA Expereince
If you love food and want to learn about the mystique of the world-famous CIA (the original CIA!), join us for our new public tour where you’ll step into Roth Hall, the building where culinary magic happens, and be transported to exceptional moments in food history. Your CIA Experience includes a behind-the-scenes look into our world of food, a Q&A session with current CIA students, and an interactive demonstration where you’ll explore the science of taste. It is followed
by a student-led tour of Les Halles D’Anthony Bourdain and Farquharson Hall. This session lasts approximately one hour.
Upstate Capital Welcome
Provost, The Culinary Institute of America
Mark Erickson serves as provost at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). In this role, he oversees all aspects of academics, as well as food and beverage operations, across the college’s four campuses.
Erickson is a frequent presenter at various hospitality industry events and conferences, where he shares unique perspectives of the global food industry, drawing from both academic and practical experiences.
An honors graduate of the CIA class of 1977, Chef Erickson was director of culinary education at the Hyde Park campus from 1988 to 1990. Prior to that, he held both faculty and department head positions at the CIA. His career also includes serving as chef tournant at the Palace Hotel in Gstaad, Switzerland; executive sous chef of the Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, WV; sous chef of the Everglades Club in Palm Beach, FL; and executive chef of Cherokee Town and Country Club in Atlanta, GA.
A native of Alexandria, MN, Chef Erickson was a member of the gold medal-winning United States Culinary Olympic Teams in 1980, 1984, and 1988, and part of the U.S. team that won the 1985 Culinary World Cup. He earned “Crystal Chef” honors by having the highest score in the ten-day Certified Master Chef examination administered by the American Culinary Federation in 1985. In 2011, Chef Erickson served as coach for Team USA, in the Bocuse d’Or competition held in Lyon, France.
Mr. Erickson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Restaurant & Hotel Management from the University of New Haven and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY.
RealEats: Growing in Upstate NY & the Power of Venture Capital
Experienced executive, entrepreneur, and culinary specialist with a demonstrated history developing and scaling businesses at multiple stages.
Sectors include VC-backed startups, direct-to-consumer, e-commerce, food manufacturing, and restaurants.
Skilled with team building, strategy, operations, R&D / product development, project management, supply chain, FSQA, and business development.
Managing Partner, Armory Square Ventures
Somak is a Founder and Managing Partner at Armory Square Ventures where he invests in software, mobile, and technology-enabled services companies across New York state and the greater northeast region. He is also a board member of the Upstate Venture Association of New York, as well as Clerio Vision, Vizbee, and ACV Auctions. Somak earned his BS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Columbia Business School.LinkedIn
Principal, Hamilton Lane
Dominic is a Principal on Hamilton Lane’s Direct Equity Team, where he is responsible for leading the evaluation and due diligence of direct investment opportunities.
Prior to joining Hamilton Lane in 2018, Dominic was a Director with FS Investments, where he focused most recently on investment management related to private debt. Dominic has previously held roles at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and T. Rowe Price and began his career as an analyst at Lehman Brothers.
Dominic received an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and BAs in Finance and Government from Franklin & Marshall College.
Director, Grow-NY Food & Ag Startup Program at Center for Regional Economic Advancement – Cornell University
Jenn has built a career focused on bringing people together around the pleasures of the table – online, through the written word, and at events. Her strengths are in developing and implementing business strategies, articulating brands, telling stories, and optimizing community and customer engagement, and she believes that intelligent collaboration is the key to a positive and productive work culture.LinkedIn
Failing & Learning: One CEO’s Story
Founder & CTO, QuantumTek.AG
Over 20 years in Dairy Farm Technology. Developer of the DairyMatic™ Milking Center Automation System. Latest project is a Multi-Year effort Researching & Developing patented non-caustic and environmentally friendly hygiene products that can be produced onsite for Dairy Farm use.LinkedIn
Business Development Specialist, Cornell AgriTech
Ed is a Business Development Specialist with the New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture located at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, NY.
Ed joined the team at the Center in 2019 and is a 40-plus-year veteran in food manufacturing, serving both large and small companies in technical and operations management roles. Before forming a consulting group, FLX Research, he spent 5 years with start-up Cheribundi, Inc. as VP of Operations, growing the top line 10x and relocating the manufacturing and distribution hub to a large, high-efficiency facility. Before that, he was Corporate Director of Quality Assurance for BeechNut Nutrition. Ed served as VP of Operations and Strategic Development at LiDestri Foods after 14 years with Quaker Oats in their Richardson-Snyder-Ardmore Foodservice division, holding several positions, including Plant Manager of their flagship facility and Director of Technical Services. Ed completed his studies at Clarkson University and Elmira College, earning his BS in Chemistry and Mathematics while working in The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company’s mega-plant in Horseheads, NY, as a production shift supervisor, and eventually, Chief Candy Chemist. Ed sits on an advisory panel for FoodLink (Greater Rochester’s non-profit food bank), and the Cornell University AgriTech advisory council. Ed and his wife Teresa live in Fairport, NY, and have three children with successful careers, spread throughout Pennsylvania and Delaware.
2022 Supply Chain Dynamics
SVP Business Development / Enterprise Accounts at Apis Wise
Dan Hare has spent 35 plus years consulting and selling solutions in the supply chain and manufacturing space. He has helped small and large companies alike to optimize their supply chain. His larger client engagements include companies such as British Petroleum and Pepperidge Farm to name a few. Dan’s expertise and cross pollination of skillsets in automation, product marking, data, workflows, and LEAN Six Sigma have helped many companies eliminate waste and increase efficiencies and accuracy within manufacturing supply chains.LinkedIn
Panel: Food Investment Trends & Resources
Managing Director, New York Ventures at Empire State Development
Jennifer is Managing Director of New York Ventures ( a division of Empire State Development) a $100 million investment fund allocated towards direct equity investments into promising Seed and Series A start-ups and their diverse founding teams across New York State. Prior to joining Empire State Development Jennifer spent 18 years with Cayuga Venture Fund where she invested in and supported entrepreneurs in technology-based start-ups. Jennifer has served on the boards of GiveGab, Pom, True Gault and Venuebook . She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Tompkins Financial Corporation and its affiliate bank, Tompkins Trust Company as well as serving the industry on the boards of the National Venture Capital Association and the Upstate Capital Association of New York. Previously she served on the board of Allworx, Inc., until its sale to Paetec Corporation.LinkedIn
Author, From Farms to Incubators: Women Innovators Revolutionizing How Our Food Is Grown
Amy Wu is an award-winning writer for the women’s ag and agtech movement.
She is the Founder of From Farms to Incubators, a multimedia platform that uses documentary, video, photography and the written word to tell the stories of women leaders and innovators in agtech, especially women of color.
From Farms to Incubators includes a documentary that spotlights women leaders in agtech. The documentary has been screened at over 300 venues including at SXSW. Amy is also the author of the new book From Farms to Incubators: Women Innovators Revolutionizing How Our Food Is Grown, which includes 30 Portraits of women founders in agtech. Civil Eats listed it as a top read.
From Farms to Incubators, the initiative, was awarded grants from the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and International Women’s Media Foundation’s Howard G. Buffett Fund. It is an ongoing initiative with the goal of inspiring more women into working in the food systems and agriculture.
In 2020 Amy was named on Worth magazine’s “Groundbreakers 2020 list of 50 Women Changing the World.” She was also named as one of Food Tank’s “15 Inspiring Women Leading in the AgTech Sector.”
Prior to starting From Farms to Incubators, Amy spent over decades as an investigative reporter at media outlets including the USA Today Network where she reported on agriculture for The Salinas Californian.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in history from New York University, and master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. She is also an avid open water swimmer and completed the 28.6 mile Manhattan Island Marathon swim in 2010.
Founder & CEO at 29 Design Studio
Maureen is an innovator and excels at leading initiatives that involve smart creative, brilliant strategies, and united communities. As Founder & CEO of 29 Design Studio, a branding and marketing agency, Maureen develops solutions to the clients’ brand-building challenges.LinkedIn
Senior Relationship Manager
Anthony left a career on Wall Street to work with dairy farmers and start a family. Anthony ran a dairy financial consulting business for four years before moving to his current role as Senior Relationship Manager at Farm Credit East managing a lending portfolio of farmers, processors, and farm related businesses throughout the Northeast. Anthony holds a BS in Business from Marist College and is a graduate of Cornell University LEAD New York Class 17 and Rochester Entrepreneurs Network Class 21. Originally from Brooklyn, Anthony enjoys spending time with his family and helping people better understand where their food comes from.LinkedIn
In-Person General Admission: $150
Online General Admission: $75
For Upstate Capital Members:
Receive $50 off the in-person ticket, or attend the event online for free. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for your code.
Not yet an Upstate Capital member? Join now and request a free pass to this event.
Who will be there?
Invitations are extended to startup entrepreneurs, experienced executives, industry professionals and active investors in food production, processing, distribution, food science and agricultural technology.
Along with gaining knowledge about what’s happening in these industries, attendees will make connections with innovators, investors and industry experts all in one place.
Fabalish will brighten your kitchen and bring life to your taste buds with delicious, clean and organic plant-based foods (without ever sacrificing flavor); inspiring you to live a healthier and more sustainable life through the power of plants.
Que 42 BBQ
Que 42 BBQ creates authentic BBQ flavors, crafted in seriously small batches, with WNY ingredients.
Dizzy Lizzie’s Farm LLC
Dizzy Lizzie’s Farm is a women-owned family farm growing and distributing spices and blends across the US.
9 Miles East Farm
We make it easy to enjoy local food. We grow vegetables on our 11-acre farm and prepare weekly meals in a commercial kitchen for a group of subscribers near Saratoga Springs, NY. It’s like a CSA, only instead of a box of vegetables, you get lasagna. Or gumbo. Or Indian eggplant. Whatever’s freshest that week.
Larry’s All Natural
Larry’s produces fresh, all-natural, authentic Mexican flavored and American Southwest-inspired sauces and has growing distribution in an exciting niche market.
WAJU Water is the planet’s ONLY water sourced exclusively from REAL FRUIT!
Levelle is a sports nutrition company dedicated to creating all-natural food products that are rooted in science and speak to a woman’s unique physiology. We are making sports nutrition designed for women, by women.
Mmmly is reimagined food for a better life, including a low carb, gluten free, grain free cookie.
We use food science to create healthy and allergen-free alternatives to foods people love, but due to ingredient mix, either can’t or shouldn’t eat. We use 100% all-natural plant-based ingredients in all of our products. Our goal is to make the world a healthier place through product development that improves the nutritional value in food with absolutely no change to the taste.
Newell Farmlands produces artisanal seasonings with an organic blend of vegetables, herbs, & spices that is sodium, cholesterol, & gluten free!
Yonderplate connects plant based and allergen conscious diners with menu items they crave, minimizing the stress and planning associated with dining out.
Hub Bound is an order management system to increase revenue and efficiency with consolidated information.
East Hampton Shucker Company
At East Hampton Shucker Company, we have have invented a market disrupting device that opens oysters faster and safer than any other methods.
Prolific Earth Sciences
Prolific Earth Sciences develops powerful diagnostic tests and test methods that support sustainable soil health practices. Combined with smart phone technology, these tests offer an unprecedented convenience and efficacy not seen before in the soil testing field.
At Nuravine we build systems for automating plant growth so you can – “Grow on Vacation”
See last year’s startups here.
Email Noa Simons, President and CEO of Upstate Capital, at email@example.com or call (845) 204-8090 regarding sponsorship and participation.